One of the first thing I was lucky to get was a professional coach to help me through my journey into the leadership role. At this point, he already have my personality assessment results as well as feedback that he has gathered from my peers and managers. In one of the assessment, it is clear that I have very little clarity in my life and in my work. He was going through the assessment results with me and asked if I had any thing to question to bring to the discussion. I then start to put forward some of my concerns with the new job. I brought up issues like struggles working with stakeholder and issues I think my team is facing where I would need some help. As he asks more clarifying question, I think he can sense that my thoughts are everywhere and there’s no specific anchor to how I am doing things in the new role.
Think for a moment the situation that I have put myself in. Someone that I have only met for the second time, told me that I don’t have clarity in my thoughts. I was taken aback since really this is an assault to everything that I know. After all the preparations for this job, all the readings that I’ve done, this is someone telling me that I don’t know what I am doing. The defensive mode did come out, asking myself if he really know what I have done in the past and what I have gone through to get here. It is hard to accept. It’s a big blow to the ego.
I took some time to clear my head and decided that no harm trying what was prescribed.
So his homework for me till we meet the next time is to seek clarity by asking the following questions to the managers up my chain and also other people that I engage.
- What is your expectations for myself and my team
- How can we support you better
I was skeptical that I will get some results from this activities. But i followed the steps asking these are 2 simple question to the management chain an my stakeholders. I find that for some people, one meeting is not enough as I have to pry more information.
As expected, my manager that I am reporting to gave me a list of his expectations. I treasure what he has written so much that I printed the email, stuck it in my cube and look at it every day. One thing that worked for me is that most of the people that I spoke to really wanted to help so they did provide great insights into what is expected of my team and where they think we can be successful.
The feedback was overwhelming and another assault to the ego. This is when I realised there’s a lot that I need to catch up, a lot that I don’t know. Once I put all the feedback together, there are some trends that I can deduce from the list. Can clearly see what’s the most important things for me to work on.